ALGERIA: Bouteflika wins presidency from beyond the grave

President Abdelaziz Bouteflika relaxing at his coastal retreat after being elected President of Algeria for the 16th consecutive termPresident Abdelaziz Bouteflika relaxing at his coastal retreat after being elected President of Algeria for the 16th consecutive term

ALGIERS – Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has won another presidential election yesterday, despite being dead for over six years.

Steamrolling all of the opposition candidates, Mr. Bouteflika won 104% of the vote in an election with a 104% turnout. While foreign human rights organizations had their concerns, in a joint written statement featuring the seal of Algeria’s Interior Ministry, Algerian NGO’s called the election 100% free and fair, and have denied that Bouteflika being the only candidate running, as well as not actually being alive in any way impacts the authenticity, fairness and truthfulness of the election results.

The ballots featured multiple options with check boxes beside them. After voters ticked one of the options, all of which bore Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s name, all they had to do to complete their vote was sign the ballot, leave a fingerprint and (optionally) smile at the camera on the ceiling directly above their booth. Furthermore, polling stations all had a friendly guard armed with an automatic rifle to guarantee security, who was there to give friendly advice to any voters that might have been confused about what to do.

The three opposition candidates quit the race shortly before the elections. One of them slipped in his bathroom and broke his neck, accidentally dropping a plugged-in radio into the bathtub that a second presidential candidate just happened to be taking a bath in at the same time. The third candidate, upon hearing of the tragedy, committed suicide by shooting himself in the back repeatedly.

President Bouteflika died six years ago at the age of 113, but refused a state burial and changed the constitution again, this time to allow himself to run for President for the 16th consecutive term. He also amended the constitution so that being alive is no longer a prerequisite for assuming the office of the President of Algeria. The decision was widely praised by Algeria’s media, (which is independent of the government, instead owned by the family of Mr. Bouteflika’s wife) as a praiseworthy step against ageism.